FARMINGTON — City council will vote Tuesday on how to allocate about $103,000 of federal grant money toward social service projects.
About $60,000 from a Community Development Block Grant, a program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are available for public service projects. And a little more than $43,000 is now available after HUD increased funding for capital projects.
"Last year, council attempted to allocate funds to several public service projects," said Mayor Tommy Roberts in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "We have some of those same (organizations) this time as well."
This year's public service funding requests range from support for transitional housing to day care assistance, Roberts said.
"There are all the kinds of services that council believes are important for the community," he said. "It's going to be a tough choice."
The grant program's funds are divided into three parts: capital projects, public service, and planning and administration.
Council allocated about $217,470 toward capital projects proposed by Masada House and the Four Corners Foundation last week, however, the official funding levels from HUD were not yet available when the votes were cast.
Although city officials were expecting a reduction in funding for capital projects, funding was increased by $43,112.06.
Council will vote Tuesday on how to allocate those additional funds.
Each vote cast on social service funding is a difficult choice, said Councilwoman Mary Fischer in a phone interview Friday afternoon.
"There's just such an overwhelming need and such few funds," she said. "All of them deserve our gratitude."
Although there may never be enough funding to support all programs that ask for assistance, Fischer said there can be a more equitable approach to allocating the money.
"A different approach to this would be to do it by levels," she said. "You could have the smaller organizations competing with (each other), and the bigger ones competing (at a different level)."
Some social service organizations simply do not have the staff to create extensive, detailed presentations to city council, Fischer said. They lack the grant-writing staff and expertise of larger groups.
"Small organizations have the desire to help and the ability to help," she said.
Fischer, however, did not discount the validity of larger organizations' project proposals.
"They both have very good goals and objectives," she said. "I just don't think the little guys should be penalized."